An estimated 15,600 home fires were ingnited by candles in 2005, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Worse, those candle fires claimed the lives of 150 people, and injured another 1,270. If you plan to decorate with candles this holiday season, do yourself a favor and take time to familiarize yourself with the following candle fire data and safety tips, courtesy of the NFPA:
"Facts and Figures:
Although home candle fires fell 8% from 2004 to 2005, more than twice as many were reported in 2005 as in 1990.
Candle fires accounted for an estimated 4% of all reported home fires in 2005.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) of home candle fires started in the bedroom, resulting in 41% of the associated civilian deaths.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 13% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
More than half of all candle fires started when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations, was too close to the candle.
Falling asleep was a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 26% of the associated deaths.
The top five days for home candle fires were Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Halloween.
Candle Safety Tips:
- Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
- Use sturdy, safe candleholders.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave a room.
- Be careful not to splatter wax when extinguishing a candle.
- Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Always use a flashlight, not a candle, for emergency lighting.
- Consider using battery-operated, flameless candles."
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